Abby McDeere

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Abby McDeere
The Firm character
First appearance The Firm
Created by John Grisham
Portrayed by Jeanne Tripplehorn (1993 film)
Molly Parker (2012 TV series)
Gender Female
Occupation Teacher
Family Mr. & Mrs. Sutherland
Spouse(s) Mitch McDeere
Relatives Mr. McDeere
Mrs. McDeere
Ray McDeere
Rusty McDeere
(brother-in-law, deceased)
Religion Methodist
Alma mater Western Kentucky University

Abigail "Abby" McDeere (née Sutherland) is a fictional character in John Grisham's 1991 novel The Firm. Abby McDeere is a Western Kentucky University–educated elementary school teacher.[1] She is also the wife of Mitch McDeere, a Havard graduate and tax lawyer who has certified public accountant credential. The character was portrayed by Jeanne Tripplehorn in the 1993 film adaptation of the novel, and most recently by Molly Parker for Entertainment One Television's show also titled The Firm.[2]


The novel sold 7 million copies and the movie starred Tom Cruise.[3] The film grossed over $158 million ($258 in 2011 dollars[4]) domestically and $111 internationally ($270 million worldwide in 1993 dollars).[5][6] Additionally, it was the largest grossing R-rated movie of 1993 and of any film based on a Grisham novel.[7] The film was released while Grisham was at the height of his popularity. That week, Grisham and Michael Crichton evenly divided the top six paperback spots on The New York Times Best Seller list.[8]

She is described as the "blue-blood wife" by Mike Hale of The New York Times.[9] She earned her degree in elementary education at Western Kentucky and then taught at a private kindergarten in Boston, while Mitch, her high school sweetheart, attended Harvard Law School. After she and Mitch had graduated from college, they married.[1] At the time of the novel, her parents resided in Kentucky, which she regarded as her home.[1] Her family did not like Mitch and boycotted their wedding.[1] In "Chapter Seven" of the television version, she says that her parents were both born in Danesborough, Kentucky (father in 1948 and mother in 1951).

Critical review[edit]


Joe Brown of The Washington Post described Tripplehorn performance as the increasingly suspicious, resenting and brooding Abby as "...a welcomely elegant and alert presence."[8] Todd McCarthy of Variety says that the film role expands upon the film role with "an added mission that creates some extra suspense and pathos".[10] He described her performance glowingly: "At times uncannily resembling Genevieve Bujold, Tripplehorn gets to do a bit more than hold down the home front and express doubt and fury at her husband's long hours."[10] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly notes that Abby "has worldlier intuitions than he [Mitch] does",[11] while Empire's Matt Mueller describes her as Mitch's "more intuitive, earthy wife".[1] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times says that one scene between Gene Hackman and Tripplehorn " like a master class in acting."[12]


The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman describes Parker's portrayal as dutiful.[13] Los Angeles Times television critic Mary McNamara describes Parker's role as thin, saying she ". . .is given less than nothing to do save offer her husband contradictory pep talks. . ."[14] Mike Hale of The New York Times also claims that Parker is "stranded in a part that looks like a drag so far" in his early take on her role.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Firm Excerpt". Doubleday, Random House, Inc. Retrieved 2011-05-20. 
  2. ^ "Molly Parker Joins The Cast of THE FIRM". ChannelCanada. 2011-07-29. Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  3. ^ Hibberd, James (2011-04-29). "NBC in talks for John Grisham's 'The Firm' TV series". CNN. Retrieved 2011-05-21. 
  4. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  5. ^ "Movies: 'The Firm,' with $31.5 million for the weekend, leads the way. Total movie receipts for the four-day holiday are an estimated $120 million.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  6. ^ "Weekend Box Office : So Far, This Is Summer to Beat". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  7. ^ The Firm at Box Office Mojo
  8. ^ a b Brown, Joe (1993-07-02). "'The Firm' (R)". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  9. ^ a b Hale, Mike (2012-01-06). "A Lawyer Leaves Witness Protection Because Everything’s Fine Now. Right?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  10. ^ a b McCarthy, Todd (1993-06-27). "The Firm". Variety. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  11. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (1993-07-09). "The Firm (1993)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  12. ^ Ebert, Roger (1993-06-30). "The Firm". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  13. ^ Goodman, Tim (2012-01-06). "Review: 'The Firm' Still Average 20 Years Later as a Television Series: NBC makes law procedural from old book, film.". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  14. ^ McNamara, Mary (2012-01-07). "Television review: 'The Firm' is now just another legal thriller". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 

External links[edit]